Jets vs. Senators NHL Betting Odds & Pick: Tuesday’s Value on Ottawa (Jan. 19)
Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tim Stutzle.
- The Ottawa Senators face the Winnipeg Jets in a divisional game on Tuesday night.
- The Senators were expected to be the worst team in the North division by a decent margin, but they could end up causing pain to other teams all season.
- Pete Truszkowski breaks the game down and shares a betting pick based on his analysis below.
Jets vs. Senators Odds
|Jets Odds||-111 [BET NOW]|
|Senators Odds||-105 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||6.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday morning and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.|
The Ottawa Senators were picked by almost everyone to finish dead last in the all-Canadian North division.
Their play in the first two games of the season should have sent a message to the rest of the teams in the division that this is not the pushover Ottawa team we saw last season.
While the talent level for the Senators is noticeably lower than most of the high-flying offensive-minded teams in this division, they still are an interesting team that deserves to be monitored this year.
On the other side of this matchup, the Winnipeg Jets are coming off a game just last night in Toronto. Connor Hellebuyck kept them in and almost stole a game they had no business being in. This was a common refrain about Winnipeg last year.
Which of these teams will win the game on Tuesday night?
There was no team I was more anxiously awaiting to watch play for a second time this season than the Winnipeg Jets.
Winnipeg finished the 2019-20 season with a 43.57% expected goal rate, the worst mark in the league. The Jets were worse than the Detroit Red Wings, who won just 17 of their 71 games and gave up 122 more goals than they scored. It was a shocking season put together by a team with a well-regarded coach and plenty of talent.
In their opener, the Jets had over 66% of the expected goals and nearly 70% of the high-danger chances against the Calgary Flames. Maybe last year was a one-off and could be disregarded. Did the Jets fix things?
On Monday night, the Jets played the Maple Leafs. The game finished with the Jets losing, 3-1, after an empty-net goal by Toronto.
A close game against one of the better teams in the league? Not bad —nothing to get worked up about, right?
Halfway through the second period, the shots were 19-1 in favor of Toronto. The game ended with Winnipeg losing the expected goal battle 2.46-0.97. The high-danger chances were 10-3.
It’s hard to give the Jets the benefit of the doubt after last season, and I’m more inclined to believe that Game 2 is a more accurate representation than Game 1.
Hellebuyck nearly stole the game for Winnipeg against Toronto, but with this being the second half of a back-to-back, I’d be shocked if he was between the pipes on Tuesday. The Jets will likely start Laurent Brossoit in net, and the gap between the two netminders is wide.
Hellebuyck won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie last season, but Brossoit finished with a .895 save percentage.
While goaltending can be random and fleeting, I feel comfortable saying that the Jets without Hellebuyck would be amongst the worst teams in the league.
I mentioned that the Jets have plenty of offensive talent, but they’ll likely be without one of their most dangerous goal scorers in this game.
Patrik Laine did not play in the game on Monday due to an injury, so it’d be shocking to see him feel healthy enough just 24 hours later. Without Laine, Andrew Copp was forced into the Jets’ top six, and his line posted just a 27% expected goals rate. Yikes.
The Senators are the prohibitive favorite to finish last in this division as the six other teams all participated in the NHL Bubble postseason tournament last year. However, I think Ottawa will be a pain in the side of these teams all year long.
The Senators made some nice moves in the offseason to bolster their roster.
Ottawa’s biggest move came in net when they acquired two-time Stanley Cup-winning goalie Matt Murray after his play fell off in Pittsburgh. While Murray has struggled at times the last few seasons, he obviously is talented enough to backstop back-to-back championship teams. He’s also a considerable upgrade on Craig Anderson, who was between the pipes for Ottawa last season.
In addition to Murray, the Senators signed Evgenii Dadonov and traded for Derek Stepan.
Dadonov has scored 81 goals for the Florida Panthers over the last three seasons and adds goal-scoring ability to a goal-starved Senators offense. While Stepan’s best days are behind him, he’s still a solid middle-of-the-lineup center who can stabilize the middle of the ice for the young team.
The most exciting move for the Senators is not a trade or free-agent signing but the addition of third-overall draft pick, Tim Stutzle.
Stutzle set the hockey world on fire in the World Junior Championship, where he recorded a point on 13 of his country’s 14 goals in the tournament. Stutzle is one of the top prospects in hockey, and the excitement around him is noticeable. In addition to Stutzle, rookie Josh Norris is another exciting young player.
These additions join an already solid core of players like Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot, and Connor Brown.
The results in the early season have been promising, as the Senators split their opening two games against the high powered Toronto Maple Leafs. The results were not flukes, either. Ottawa had a very respectable 49% of the expected goals in the two matchups.
Jets vs. Senators Best Bet
I’m sure the original reaction for most is that of surprise.
I’ll admit my first feeling was that this feels like a low price to bet on Winnipeg. The Jets have some elite offensive players, and Ottawa is the worst team in this division.
However, after digging a little deeper, this line makes perfect sense and I think is even good value for a bet on the Ottawa Senators.
We already discussed the likelihood that the best goalie in the NHL from last season will be on the bench in this contest. Hellebuyck is arguably the most important player in the league to his team, especially if it plays like it did on Monday night.
Speaking of Monday night, that’s also a factor to be considered here. The Jets are playing in the second half of a back-to-back against a rested team and will need to travel from Toronto to Ottawa. Often called schedule-losses, these situations obviously favor the rested team.
I expect Ottawa to be much improved this year, and the analytical profile through two games is promising. And when you factor in last season, Winnipeg’s numbers are frightening.
I think the Senators are a good contrarian pick here, as I expect the public to pound the more popular Jets. I think by mid-afternoon on Tuesday, you’ll be able to get Ottawa as a plus-money underdog at home.
The Bet: Ottawa Senators (-105 or better).